My initial training in counselling had been a 2 year part-time course with Frank Lake’s Clinical Theology Association in 1976/7. While a headteacher in special education I undertook a further course in counselling but after 2 years I left this in dissatisfaction at what we were being offered. After my retirement from education, I trained in massage with Sean Doherty. Following this I grasped the opportunity to follow a 3-year training in Post-Reichian Body-Centred Psychotherapy with Sean and with Silke Ziehl. This method is called Energetic Integration, the creation of the late Jack Painter from California; EI is recognised by the European Association of Body-Psychotherapy as a free-standing form of therapy. In 1995 I was invited to join the team of therapists at the Cavendish Centre for Cancer Care in Sheffield; at the same time I started my private practice. I helped to run the Northern Massage Association, an organisation for the professional support of massage practitioners. Postgraduate work in craniosacral therapy that I undertook has been of deepening significance in my work. In 2001 I was introduced to the Hakomi Method. I helped to set up and for some years manage the trainings in the Hakomi Method in Britain. I had the privilege of being taught by Ron Kurtz, by his senior trainers from Canada and Flint Sparks from Texas.
From 2007 onwards I made several visits to Ashland, Oregon, to spend time with Ron Kurtz, creator of Hakomi, initially as a student and latterly as an assistant on his trainings. It was from him that in 2007 I received my certification as a Practitioner and, two years later, as a Teacher of Hakomi. Sadly Ron died in January 2011. I am thankful I was free to attend his Memorial Service; my membership of the Hakomi Community in Ashland is dear to me and I hope to continue to play my part through involvement with the Ron Kurtz Center there.Whenver it has been possible I have assisted (and organised) on the Deepening Hakomi training thas Bob Milone and Marcia Burton run on Salt Spring Island BC.
I am registered with the Hakomi Institute (US) and I am Accredited as a Body Psychotherapist with the European Association for Body-Psychotherapy (EABP). Since 2006 with my colleagues I have attended the EABP conferences on the Continent. I am registered also with the Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapists (UK). I have worked for some years with Cedar Barstow and am a Guild Member of her Right Use of Power Institute.
In addition to deepening my skills in Hakomi I undertook training in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), working towards certification in this method.
Since 2009 I have regularly attended the retreats which Flint as a Zen priest has conducted in Switzerland and in Cumbria. The practice of Mindfulness underpins my teaching and my work.
For myself I discovered the place of expressive work in therapy and in personal development through courses and retreats with Chloë Goodchild, the inspirational creator of Naked Voice and with members of her team of Naked Voice Facilitators. I was honoured in 2013 to have been given by her the title Friend of Naked Voice in recognition of the supportive role I have played in that association.
Most important of all, for the last 6 years, I have been working with the American poet, therapist and teacher Kim Rosen, colleague of Chloë. Each year I have attended long retreats with Kim in County Mayo. The ongoing work with her has been utterly life-changing. I am one of five who were selected as apprentices in her approach. Throughout 2014 we shall be assisting her in training new students in her Poetry Depths Mystery School in Ireland. We have been building a fellowship that is transformational. Working with Kim has led to new ways of working as therapist and teacher. I intend to say more about this on this website later.
My learning journey has been about so much more than training courses, success and achievement. I recognise that what I bring to this work is also what I have learned though other life experiences – failures, mistakes, disappointments, setbacks and defeats as well as those times when all has gone well. There have been many times when I have been given more learning as a therapist (as well as personally), through my own journey, than any courses could have provided. This truth does not appear on any certificate but it needs to be said!